Saturday, December 30, 2006

A reason why video games are hard to give up

"It's our contention that the psychological 'pull' of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness," says Ryan. The researchers believe that some video games not only motivate further play but "also can be experienced as enhancing psychological wellness, at least short-term," he says.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Video Gamers Join in a Child Charity

By J. Peter Freire, New York Times, 12/27/06
"The young patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital awoke this Christmas Day to gifts from a sprawling culture not frequently associated with charity: video gamers."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Using Games and Simulations for Engaged Learning

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference, March 27, 2007, SanFrancisco. "The 2007 International Symposium is focused on the compelling issue of the role that games, simulations and similar software will play in schools and other educational venues. Gaming and other interactive software primarily exists in the commercial/consumer markets, yet many educators believe they hold the potential to powerfully engage learners, particularly at the primary and secondary education level."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Nintendo Games Online

From the Bartlesville Public Library blog
VirtualNES: A virtual Nintendo Entertainment system with 550 games.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Left Behind' Video Game Draws Fire

by Laura Sydell, NPR, 12/24/06
"A video game based on the popular "Left Behind" series of Christian novels draw criticism. The game allows players to be tempted by the forces of evil, convert others to Christianity... or even kill them." Listen to the podcast here.

Video Games for the Vision Impaired

by Amy Standen, NPR, 12/24/06
Audio games from such companies as are talked about in this podcast.

Girl Gamer Makes a Killing

by James Lee, Wired News, 12/22/06
Meet Bonnie "Xena" Burton, a 15-year-old professional gamer, who is one of fourteen gaming coaches at

GTA-who knew?

"Top 10 things you never knew about Grand Theft Auto (because you're not brainy enough)"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Michigan pays fees to video game industry

Video Game Voters Network
"The State of Michigan must pay the video game industry $182,349 in attorney's fees and costs as a result of successful litigation challenging an unconstitutional effort to enact a law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. . ."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wii Wriststrap Recall

December 15, 2006

Important Information Concerning Wii Remote wrist straps

Dear Nintendo Customer,

We wish to advise you that Nintendo announced today that we are offering free replacement Wii Remote wrist straps to consumers. These straps are thicker than the original wrist straps provided at launch.

Your customers can seek replacement wrist straps in two ways:

• Contact a 1-800 number: 1-800-859-4519

• Visit our website at

We also wanted to let you know that all Wii Remotes packaged with Wii Hardware in your inventory should already have the new, thicker wrist straps attached.

Wii Remote Accessories shipped by Nintendo to retail on or after December 18 also should include the new, thicker wrist strap.

If you have any questions, please contact your Nintendo Account Manager.

Nintendo of America Inc.

John Moore
Director of Channel Marketing

HA. Knew it was better to wait...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Games + Learning + Society

Call for Papers. Third annual conference will be held, July 12-13, 2007. Madison, WI.

"Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and the Academic ADL Co-Lab, the GLS Conference fosters substantive discussion and collaboration among academics, designers, and educators interested in how game technologies – commercial games and others – can enhance learning, culture, and education."

Proposals due February 15, 2007

IBM encouraging kids to pursue careers

by Debra Lau Whelan, School Library Journal, 12/13/2006
"IBM recently invited middle school students to its headquarters in New York to check out how video games are made."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

ALA TechSource Gaming in Libraries Symposium

Save the Date! July 22-24, 2007

More info on the ALA TechSource blog. Man, those TechSource people ROCK!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

YALSA Teen Gaming Discussion Group Meeting-Midwinter

Please join us!
YALSA’s Teen Gaming Discussion Group
W Hotel Seattle, 1112 4th Ave., Studio 8
Saturday, January 20, 1:30pm-3:30pm

While the focus will be on tabletop games, bring all your gaming questions, and share your programming stories!

Can't attend but still want to participate or listen in? Join us in Second Life Open Air Auditorum, Coordinates 126, 81, 33, or via Skype (kellyc411 or informationgoddess29) where the meeting will be broadcast live.

Check for updates, other gaming related Midwinter programs, and gaming events in Seattle on the ALA Midwinter wiki. Consider posting information about the YALSA Gaming Discussion group on your personal blog or state library listservs.

Any gaming related ALA conference programs or Seattle gaming resources, consider posting on the ALA Midwinter Wki or YALSA's Teen Tech Week Wiki.

MMOG Stats!

Forwarded from Nick Yee

A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at:

Also, several new surveys are available for current MMORPG players. You can participate at:

As the number of MMOs and MMO portals increase, your help in publicizing the link to the current surveys goes a long ways in sustaining this line of research. Any help is much appreciated.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wii, Lose two pants size in one week

Ryan Mercer, was interviewed by Forbes, as a wii player who is loosing weight by playing the Wii. He plays for an hour and a half a day and has been loosing weight from playing all of the games on the wii. One comment that he makes is that even non gamers are attracted to the Wii.

So if you haven't had a chance to play with the Wii I encourage you to demo in a store or buy your own.

"I want to go from a Mario to a Luigi"-Ryan Mercer

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Survey of what teens what for Christmas

Business Wire, 11/21/06
"TeenSpot & Gorilla Nation survey unwraps pricy holiday presents. . ."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Unconstitutional Video Game Law Struck Down-Louisiana

11/30/06, Video Game Voters Network
"Ninth Decision in Six Years Finds Video Games to be Protected Under the First Amendment."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

This is Your Brain on Violence

by Karen Springen, Newsweek, 11/28/06
"The first study to look at the direct effect of videogames on teen brains documents functional differences between violent and nonviolent play."

Thursday, November 23, 2006


"Bridging the gap between gaming and education."
Teaching guides on this site are for K-Grad School. Teachers who use video games in the classroom and incorporate them in the standards based curriculum have posted their guides here that are free for all to use.

See also: bibliographic gaming blog
(for librarians interested in using games to teach)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Warcraft Social Network

"Warcraft Social Network is a social utility that connects you with other players in the game. . ."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MTV and Nexon to partner

Reuters, 11/16/06
"Youth entertainment group MTV Networks said on Thursday it would partner with South Korea-based game publisher Nexon to market Nexon's games in North America and have Nexon enhance its existing youth-oriented Internet site."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Celebrate National Games Week

National Games Week runs November 19-25, 2007.

Second Life resident and gamer librarian Eiseldora Reisman has organized a slew of events in OPAL Online/Second Life. A partial listing follows; more updates to come!

Sunday November 19, 1:00PM
-- "An Interview with Mark Simmons"
Mark is the founder of National Games Week Founder
faciliated by Eiseldora Reisman , Second Life
Location: Second Life Library 2.0, Info Island 91, 193 33

Monday November 20, 5:00PM -- Nick deKunter, "Making Educational Games"
Nick is the Vice President of Muzzy Lane and Designer of Making History
Location: OPAL presentation, (audio simultaneously broadcast in Second Life)

Wednesday November 22, 1:00PM -- Virtual Bacon, "Second Life Game Design"
Virtual is the program director of the Game & Simulation Department at DeVry University
and owner of imagiLEARNING and working on PhD in Games and Learning
Location: OPAL presentation,

Wednesday November 22, 5:00PM -- Cerulean Vesparia, "Games by the Numbers"
Cerulean is a librarian and advocate of gaming in libraries.
Cerulean Vesperia, Librarian at Info Island, delivers a presention on video and tabletop gaming statistics as part of National Games Week. Discover why games matter, discuss the benefits of playing games, and get empowered to harness this interactive format for programming, collections, and services that meet the needs of gamers of all ages in all types of libraries!
Location: Second Life Library 2.0, Info Island 91, 193 33

Friday November 24, TBD -- Eiseldora Reisman, "Relation Between Online Environments and Tabletop Games"
Eiseldora is a librarian and advocate of gaming in libraries, and the author of the Mario Brothers Memorial Public Library webpage.
Location: OPAL presentation,

Friday November 24, TBD -- Paul Schwarzwalder, "Game Design Q&A"
Location: OPAL presentation,

Friday November 21, 5:00 PM -- Talon Lardner, "Role Playing in Second Life"
Talon is a Second Life Roleplayer with theStarfleet Second Life Quadrant where she assists with the Medical and Activity division
Location: Second Life Library 2.0, Info Island 91, 193 33

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Video Game News, Week of November 2, 2006

Video Games Seek to Build Your Social Awareness
by Chuck McCutcheon Newhouse News Service 11/2/06
"If you're a video game player whose social conscience isn't fulfilled by shooting villains or scoring points, your options are expanding: You can broker a Middle East peace deal, run a drought-stricken African farm or pick fruit as a migrant worker."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Runescape Discussion Group

Runescape discussion group at Lackman Branch Library in Johnson County, Kansas Chris Koppenhaver, Youth Services Librarian, gathered Runescape players together to exchange information, swap stories and brag. Chris describes the event in his own words at

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Video Game News, Week of October 8 2006

Escapist issue #66

How to get lazy kids into the gym? Video games, of course.
ZDNet Eudcation 10/12/06
"Attempting to cash in on the teen obesity epidemic, one enterprising high school coach is using high tech to open the first interactive gym for teens."

Video Games: More than child's play for leaders
by Virginia Galt, Globe and Mail 10/13/06
"A growing number of companies are using game simulations as a management training tool"

Federal Judge Halts Law Banning Video Games
AP 10/16/06
"A federal judge in the Western District of Oklahoma has blocked a new state law that would prohibit the sale of violent video games to children."

’Second Life’ 3-D digital world grows
AP, 10/11/06
"Second Life" now has more than 800,000 denizens, of whom more than a hundred are earning a real-world, full-time living there... "

Games on Demand... at the library?

"Games on Demand is the software company behind the popular Yahoo Games! Last year, Pasco County Libraries began working to implement this product at each of their libraries. In January, Pasco began using this product, and it has been quite successful..."

How cool is THAT?! No theft, no damage, no loss rate, no physical collections to manage... WOW! I subscribe to Game Tap and Game Fly at home - would love to get it through MY library though!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Microsoft Educates Parents on 20-city Bus Tour

by Microsoft, 10/12/06, posted on Joystiq
"Beginning today, Microsoft, along with partners Best Buy and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, begins a 20-city bus tour to educate parents on understanding the ESRB ratings scheme and implementing the parental controls built into the Xbox 360 and accompanying Xbox Live service."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Everywhere Now: Three Dialogues on Kids, Games, and Learning

From Monday, October 16-Friday, November 3, the MacArthur Foundation will be hosting a series of online discussions called, "Everywhere Now: Three Dialogues on Kids, Games, and Learning."

Dialogue 1: Power, Play, Participation-10/16-10/20

"This dialogue explores the forms of power players experience, reproduce, and generate through a range of gaming practices, from forms related to identity or community, to those enabled through activities like world-building, modding, and operating within a complex information network. . ."

Dialogue 2: Gaming Literacies-10/23-10/27

"This dialogue explores different domains of literacy emerging from what we might call a gaming attitude, an attitude tied directly to the creative qualities of play."

Dialogue 3: Pathways to Gaming-10/30-11/3

"This dialogue explores the different paths taken by young people, educators, and parents into (and out of) gaming, for there is certainly no single trajectory common to all players. If we are to try and grasp the impact and implications of games for a generation of kids who consider them a second skin, we need to better understand how players come to games in the first place, and the different pathways they take once games become a part of their lives. "

Learning With Games, Learning by Making Games

The October issue of the e-journal, ITALICS is dedicated to Learning with Games. The article titles include:

Innovations in Learning and Teaching Approaches using Game Technologies – Can “The Movies” teach how to make a movie?

A Crisis in Physics Education : Games to the Rescue!

Introducing Game Development into the Computing Curriculum – A Progressive Methodology

Providing the skills required for innovative mobile game development using industry/academic partnerships

Using A Virtual World For Transferable Skills in Gaming Education

Monday, October 09, 2006

Games and Culture

The October issue of Games and Culture is now available online--don't miss this special issue on World of Warcraft! Visit to read/view.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Video Game News, Week of October 8, 2006

October issue of Games and Culture. Special issue: World of Warcraft.
Article titles include:
1. Building an MMO With Mass Appeal: A Look at Gameplay in World of Warcraft
2. Does WoW Change Everything?: How a PvP Server, Multinational Player Base, and Surveillance Mod Scene Caused Me Pause
3. From Tree House to Barracks: The Social Life of Guilds in World of Warcraft
4. Storyline, Dance/Music, or PvP?: Game Movies and Community Players in World of Warcraft
5. Blood Scythes, Festivals, Quests, and Backstories: World Creation and Rhetorics of Myth in World of Warcraft
6. WoW is the New MUD: Social Gaming from Text to Video

Real Learning in a Virtual World
by Gregory Lamb, Christian Science Monitor 10/05/06
"Charles Nesson and his daughter, Rebecca, are teaching the first class at Harvard University using the Second Life website."

"An everyday hangout where you can have fun with your friends and meet new ones -- all in a lush 3D environment that's yours to build and explore!"

Video Games Not Just for the Young Anymore
by John Mellow Jr., TechNewsWorld 10/07/06
"Casual games tend to be ideal for busy people."

In England, Schools May Soon Teach Video Games
by Liz Lightfoot, the Daily Telegraph 10/06/06
"Video games are likely to become part of the English school curriculum after research funded by the Department for Education praised them as a powerful learning tool."

Video Games Focus of USA Network Series
Political Gateway 10/06/06
"A cable TV network will debut the seven-episode series, entitled "Boost Mobile Major League Gaming Pro Circuit," on Nov. 11 and it will revolve around the world of competitive video gaming and the lives of those who compete within it."

British Academy Video Games Awards
by Steven Williamson, Hexus.gaming 10/06/06
Soundtrack: Guitar Hero
Innovation: Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?
The Movies for Simulation: Legos Star Wars II
Multiplayer: Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach

Video Games Becoming a Social Event
by Antone Gonsalves, TechWeb 10/05/06
"Knocking aside the long-held notion that video gamers are solitary creatures, a new study shows they spend hours playing socially every week."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tabletop Reviews

A new feature at MBMPL is reviews of Tabletop games, while the site is still undergoing some upgrades, the reviews are now viewable, and will be expanded upon in the coming month. In the future I hope this becomes a valuable resource for all types of gaming, but I must begin somewhere. In the mean time enjoy.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Video Game News, Week of September 25, 2006

The Escapist, Issue 64: Hands-On Gaming

Living a Second Life
the Economist 9/28/06
"But increasing numbers use Second Life for things that are quite serious. They form support groups for cancer survivors. They rehearse responses to earthquakes and terrorist attacks. They build Buddhist retreats and meditate."

Online Games With a Difference
News 24 9/26/06
"Trion World Network Inc wants to publish and develop online games that can be changed, even on a daily basis. Its goal is to establish a platform for an online network of different games, allowing people to ask, "What's on tonight?""

Video Games Help Carry Japanese Pop Culture West
By Lou Kesten, AP 9/27/06
"For a few generations now, video games have been a Trojan horse for Japanese culture in the United States."

Gameworld: Older Women Rule ... the casual games market
By Lisa Baertlein, Reuters 9/28/06
"Middle-aged" women rule the $458 million U.S. online casual game market that features quick games that can be picked up and played for a few minutes or a few hours at a sitting."

How the Generations Demonise Video Games (audio)
SBS Radio 9/27/06
"n this look at Language and Identity, Adam Connors speaks to Anthony Hetrih and Margaret Pomeranz about how both ignorance, and even legislation, continues to demonise video gaming in Australia."

DFC: Games Industry Worth $44 bln in 2011
by Kris Graf, Next Generation 9/26/06
"A new series of reports from videogame market research firm DFC Intelligence forecasts the interactive entertainment industry to grow from $29 billion in 2005 to $44 billion in 2011."

How Video Games Became the Boogeyman Over Time
by Tom Leupold, Inside Bay Area 9/22/06
"In his research, titled "A Brief Social History of Game Play," Williams recounts that video games began as an adult pastime, with the earliest arcade machines appearing in bars and nightclubs... they were patronized by a mix of ages and ethnicities, and weren't particularly viewed as kids' entertainment."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Future of the Internet II

Check out what the new Pew Internet & American Life Project survey has to say about the Internet in 2020. Virtual worlds addictive? English displacing other languages? Transparency instead of privacy? The 742 respondents have a lot to say.

Massive Magazine

At Gen-Con I learned about a new magazine Massive focusing on MMORPGs. I must admit at first I had my hesitations about the format with all of the discussion about magazines ceasing publication. This one however was different. Unlike other gaming magazines I have seen this magazine has more focus on the positive aspects of the game, with highlights from dozens of virtual environments. The first issue answers the question of what is a MMO and what will it be in the future.

I recommend this specific issue for anyone interested in virtual environments and MMORPG gaming. It also has the potential to be a balanced addition to a libraries magazine collection.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Review: I Can Play Piano: Edutainment, or Video Game?

Fisher Price’s plug and play product “I can Play Piano” introduces children age 4-8 to the basics of reading notes and playing them on a keyboard. A color coded key electronic piano plugs directly into the RCA jacks of most tvs. Modelled after Piano Wizard software created by Allegro, “I Can Play Piano” is accompanied by a cartridge containing eight songs (ranging from childhood favorites like “Row Row Row Your Boat” to classics such as “Fur Elise.” Cartoonish static backdrops depict the song, and the shape of notes support the theme; for example, “Heart and Soul” shows a canoodling couple, and the notes are heart shaped.

Each song can be played at four levels. In the first, players match the colored shapes that scroll up from the bottom of the screen with the colored squares on the keyboard. In Level Two, the colored shapes scroll from right to left. In Level Three, the shapes become regular colored notes, and in Level Four, the colors disappear, leaving white notes for white keys and black notes for sharps and flats. Each song may be played in three modes: right hand, left hand, and both hands, and the keyboard can sound like five different instruments. The variety of play can keep a child occupied for hours, and the drive to best your score creates engagement in the sometimes tedious practice process that creates tension between parent and child.

Songs can be slowed down or speeded up. Timing is critical, because if you are off by a quarter beat, no sound emerges from the piano. Instead of allowing the player to hear and correct a missed note, only correct notes are played. There is no indication of how long each note should be played, and musical notations, such as rests, are not introduced.

The software is billed as being “Just like a video game,” because the software tracks the number of correct notes played, and displays the top score of the session and the current score. While the challenging feel, interactivity and intuitive interface are game-like, “I Can Play Piano” is simply good edutainment software for a generation of screen-addicted children. It has the added advantage of play without the TV connection, for practice or original composition, and can be battery operated.

A true video game style would not allow the player to move freely from level to level; there is no advancement reward for improved or perfect playing. Each song continues to the end, regardless of how well the player does (compared to a Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, in which missed steps cause the player to “fail” and the song to end.

The mini-games consist of a “banger” game (accompaniment is provided, and 4 notes are recommended for an impromptu jam session) and a matching game (colored cars drive across the screen and the player presses the correspondingly colored key). There are no practices drills, listening exercises or quizzing to associate the notes with the colors.

After playing through all the songs on all the levels, I didn’t feel like I was associating the shape of the middle C note with the middle C on the keyboard; I was still reading the the letter on the note itself, or relying on memory to play the song as I knew it should sound. A fifth level, with no lettered notes, would elevate the stakes.

At present there are eight other game cartridges, five of which incorporate trademarked icons such as Dora the Explorer, Scooby Doo and Barbie. Advanced learners can go on to the Piano Wizard software. This is a solid start to musical theory.

Engaging Youth on their Own Terms: Instant Messaging and Gaming in Libraries

Date : Tuesday, Oct 10, 2006
Start Time : 8 a.m. Pacific
Length : 01:00:00

"Attempting to mold young library users into miniature librarians is an unfair and often futile goal. To meet their needs and ensure our institutions are supported in the future, we must listen to them! Join Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton as they discuss ways to serve teens on their own turf, by creating a teen-friendly environment in your physical library and in your library's eBranch, and by providing the resources and services teens want, when and where they want them. Other topics discusses will be MySpace, iPods, and weblogs."

Why Support Games

Sports can be considered a waste of money and time. Players are paid more than citizens who teach future generations are. Individuals will spend hundreds of dollars for to watch players, collect items related to the game, and even building places for the players to play. Sports have negative effects at times of allowing players to ignore learning relying on physical ability to make it through life. Yet we as a society accept Sports as a recreational activity where families can bond, children can gain values as a member of a team, and individuals can support the economy. Why do we find it difficult to accept that this would apply to other types of games?

Remember that games are just one of dozens of choices for recreational activities. Just as valuable as knitting, golfing, movie watching and more.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Barcelona Hosts XBox 06 next week

By Tim Surette, GameSpot, 6/22/06
"The X0 events, almost always held in Europe, have been used as an opportunity for Microsoft to make the latest announcements regarding the Xbox line of products, business dealings, and upcoming games."

Tokyo Game Show this weekend!

Tokyo Game Show opened today. "Exhibitions include video games, computer games, digital entertainment products, mobile games, game machines, game soft for kids, online games, Japanese anime character games, game schools, CD/DVD, and more."

PS3 price drop-in Japan

by Stephen Totilo, MTV News, 9/22/06
"Sony used the 2006 Tokyo Game Show as a showcase for its looming PS3."

Edutainment 2007 Call For Papers Announced

Edutainment 2007 Call For Papers Announced
Serious Games Source 9/11/06
Edutainment 2007, the 2nd International Conference of E-Learning and Games calls for papers for the June 11-13, 2007 conference to be held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Video Game News, Week of September 18, 2006

Apple Updates Video iPod - Games, Movies, and More
by Adam Pash, About/Electronics & Gadgets/Digital Music 9/20/06
"Aside from the games that ship with the iPod (like Solitaire, Parachutes, etc.), you can now buy new interactive games... "

EA Preps In-Flight Video Games
by Wolfgang Gruener, TG Daily 9/21/06
"Electronic Arts, together with in-flight entertainment company DTI Software, today announced a plan to provide multiple airline companies with in-flight versions of their software, largely headlined by The Sims 2."

Lawmaker Seeks to Restrict Youth Access to Violent Video Games
By Brock Vergakis, AP 9/18/06
"On Wednesday, Rep. David Hogue will revive a bill that seeks to prevent minors from accessing violent video games."

BLOG: Definitive Interactive History of Video Games Comes to London's Science Museum
Gameplanet 9/18/06
"London's Science Museum is to play host to a new and updated run of Game On, the comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of video games and videogaming culture."

Where to Sell Your Used CDs, DVDs, Games & Electronics Online
Associated Content, the People's Media Company 9/17/06
"Do you have used CDs, DVDs, games & electronics? Here are some websites where you can sell them online."

MTV To Acquire Guitar Hero Maker Harmonix
David Jenkins, Gamasutra, 9/22/06
"In a surprise announcement, cable television channel MTV has announced it is to acquire developer Harmonix Music Systems in a deal worth $175 million..."

Nintendo Of America Courts Mature Content
by David Jenkins, Gamasutra, 9/21/06
"Although the GameCube did play host to some mature content rated games, including the Nintendo published Eternal Darkness and Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and killer7, Nintendo were still unable to shake the image of a console dominated by child friendly titles and lacking in third party support."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Runescape night at Hutchinson (Kansas) Public Library)

"On August 7, 2006, Kristine Tossie and 5 teen coordinators hosted a
Runescape night in the computer lab of the Hutchinson (Kansas) Public
Library. They had six events. Some events were for Runescape members.
Some events were for non-members. Some events were for both.

One 13-year-old boy claimed that this might have been the greatest
night of his life."
Thanks Chris!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Manager of Virtual World Avatar

Fleishman-Hillard Youth has an immediate opening for someone to oversee an avatar on behalf of one of their clients. If you or someone you know has strong experience in virtual worlds and RPGs, and is interested in youth marketing, they want to hear from you.


- Manage an avatar in a virtual world on behalf of a corporate client
- Interact with players, answering various questions and disseminating information
- Sending email blasts to members
- Staying in continual contact with the Fleishman-Hillard team, providing updates and status reports


- Excellent experience using RPGs and virtual worlds
- Ability to effectively handle in-game requests with the interests of the client in mind
- Responsible and easy to reach
- Strong communication skills
- Work schedule: 7 pm – 11 pm EST/EDT, Mon-Fri
- 3 month contract starting ASAP
- Can work remotely

Please contact Vanessa Lane by email ( or phone (212-453-2390)

Monday, September 18, 2006

MTV Launches Virtual Laguna Beach

Not in the Real World Anymore

by Richard Siklos, New York Times 9/18/06
'Upstaged by MySpace, MTV will introduce Virtual Laguna Beach, where fans can immerse themselves in virtual versions of the show’s hangouts."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nintendo Wii-November 19

09/14/06, Houston Chronicle by Peter Svensson
"Nintendo Co. announced Thursday that its Wii game console will go on sale in the U.S. on Nov. 19 for $250. . ."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Games and Libraries

Silversprite blogs a powerpoint presentation by John Kirriemuir on Games and Libraries. Slides were used in a presentation at the Digital Library 2006 school in Tilburg. An overview of games, and gamers, attributes of a gamer, and what libraries are doing with games, including those outside of the United States are part of the presentation.

Is WOW just a game-or something more?

By Steven Levy, Newsweek, September 18 2006 issue
"What distinguishes Warcraft from previous blockbuster games is its immersive nature and compelling social dynamics."

Christian Video Game-Left Behind series

by Sandy Shore, USA Today, 9/10/06
"Left Behind: Eternal Forces is based on the best-selling Left Behind book series about the apocalypse. But it's the apocalypse without dismemberment or graphic bloodshed, though the game has an element of violence that some Christians argue is counter to teachings of the Bible."

Monday, September 11, 2006

National Games Week

Each year Games Quarterly sponsors National Games Week November 19th-25th. Companies related to tabletop gaming provide sponsorship, and participants can purchase discounted game packages from the various sponsors.

Games Quarterly is a Magazine dedicated to the educational value of table top games, and through the celebration of National Games Week, promotes the use of games in classrooms.

I encourage every library interested in gaming having a game day during this special week. Try hosting a CCG tournament, having a family gaming night, or simply setting out a board game for the after school teens.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Video Game News, September 10, 2006

Check out Entropia-a virtual world where teens can participate in the economy and even make real money.

The August/September 2006 Bulletin of the American Society for Information Sciences and Technology has an article by Andrew Hinton on pages 17-21: "We Live Here: Games, Third Places and the Information Architecture of the Future.".

Information Service Manager, Martin House, from the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, received a grant from the State Library for gaming programs for adults. Alienware laptops will be part of the fun.

Innovate Live Webcast September 12, 2006, 12:00pm, ET, "Proposal for Accelerating the Implementation and Development of Video Games in Education"
by Greg Jones and Kevin Kalinowski

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Video Game News, Week of September 4, 2006

The Escapist Issue #61: Sixteen Ton - Whaddaya Get? now available.

"We Live Here: Games, Third Places and the Information Architecture of the Future.
by Andrew Hinton, Bulletin of the American Society for Information Sciences and Technology August/September 2006

"Grand Theft Education"
Jane Avrich, Steven Johnson, Raph Koster, Thomas de Zengotita, and Bill Wasik, Harpers September 2006

Some Games May Enhance Sociability.
Technology: Your Digital World, CNN. 9/6/06
"Video games involving multiple players serve as informal gathering places akin to old-time pubs and coffee shops, and can thereby boost the players' social connections, researchers argue in a new study."

Sector Wrap: Video Games
by Barbara Ortutay, AP Business Week Online 9/8/06
"Sony Corp. plans to ship two million of its long-awaited next-generation gaming console, PlayStation 3, to stores worldwide by Dec. 31."

Podcast: Not Satisfied with Video Games on the Market? Design Your Own
Voice of America News 9/7/06
"Microsoft is offering a computer program for making video games. The XNA Game Studio Express tools are free for download on computers with Windows XP systems to create games."

Islamogaming: Looking for Video Games in the Muslim World
by Ed Halter, ExtremeTech 9/9/06
"In summer 2006, an Iranian political group called the Union of Islamic Student Societies revealed that it was planning on entering the video-game business."

Are Some Video Games Gambling? Teen Makes $35,000 in Video Game, Now the Taxman Cometh
by Jonathan Silverstein, ABC news 9/8/06
"Whoever said "you won't get rich playing video games," never played Entropia Universe — an online computer game where players adventure, build, buy and sell everything from real estate and services to weapons and armor for real dollars."

Campaigner Pins Latest Shooting on Video Games
OUT-LAW News, 08/09/2006
"Games campaigner Jack Thompson believes that last week's school shooting in North Carolina was caused by the teenager involved playing violent video games. Thompson is the lawyer behind a suit against Take Two games over its upcoming title Bully."

Academic to Study Effects of Violent Video Games
The New Zealand Herald 9/10/006
"Waikato academic Gareth Schott has been given a $140,000 grant to run two video game clubs for teenagers so that he can observe their behaviour in a natural environment."

ESPN Video Games Channel Launches On ESPN.COM

Game Infowire 9/7/06
"Developed in collaboration with Ziff Davis Game Group, the co-branded section delivers sports video game-focused content including sports video game news and reviews, trailers, audio and video podcasts, industry analysis, interviews and more."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Games and Education Research Resource!

Silversprite Research and Consultancy, whose focus is digital games and libraries, has a FABULOUS blog dedicated to examples of off the shelf games used for educational purposes. Check it out at!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sensor Glove: The New Video Game Controller?

08/21/06, University of Illinois
"Video game controllers have evolved from five-button square boxes to complex conglomerations of joysticks and direction pads, and soon the next level of controller may be on the market: a glove with sensors attached to it so you can reach into the action of the game."

Some Online Video Games to Promote Socialibility

8/16/06, University of Illinois
"Researchers have found that some of the large and hugely popular online video games – although condemned by many as time-gobbling, people-isolating monsters – actually have socially redeeming qualities."

BN Gamefest

This site really looks snazzy from the Bloomington Public Library in Illinois. Young Adult Librarian, John Fischer, and Web Services guru, Chad Brekke, know how to put it together. If I've forgotten anyone, let me know. The community involvement and outreach, circulating video games, excitement, online communication, etc. is great. Cheering for my alma mater of libraries! You lead 'em Illinois!

Video Game News, Week of August 28, 2006

Are you a MMO/MMORPG player? Take this survey at the Daedelus Project! A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at

The Escapist issue # 60: Editor's Choice is now available at

Teaching Video Games Book to Debut in US
by Beth A. Dillon, Gamasutra 8/30/06
"The book provides an introduction to teaching with videogames, offering practical advice on classroom approaches and clear reference to critical and theoretical writing."

Researchers Test Effectiveness of Online Video Games in School History Lessons
MSN 9/1/06
"Technical college students may no longer be scolded for playing video games in class, but actually be encouraged to do so, as researches test the effectiveness of game-based history lessons."

Art of the Game
by Alexa Moses and Elicia Murray, Sydney Morning Herald 9/2/06
"It may sound innocuous, but Kelman's assertion that the storylines, complex characters, sound, music and breathtaking visuals in games make them valid artworks is controversial, even among gamers."

Real World Governor Speaks in Second Life
Joystiq, 9/1/06
"Former Virginia Governor and potential 2008 presidential candidate Mark Warner became the first politician to make a public appearance in an MMO yesterday, speaking to a small crowd of avatars in Second Life on issues ranging from the Iraq war to abortion."

PRESS RELEASE: Stroke Therapy Uses Video Games
United Press International 8/30/06
"Virtual rehabilitation gives therapists new tools to do their jobs more effectively and engages patients who may otherwise lack interest or motivation to complete normal exercise regimens."

Video Games Giving Players Directorial Try
Washington Times, 8/28/06
"What has become known as machinima, the use of such games for creating movie re-enactments or videos, has grown in such bounds it has been featured in both commercials and videos and spawned an official Machinima Academy of Arts and Sciences."

Back to School Means Video Games Take Back Seat to Homework
by Leslie Brody, The Record 8/30/06
"Come September, many parents vow to pull the plug on kids who have been pounding away on video games through the hazy days of vacation

Violent Games Ban Overturned by Yet Another US State Court. 8/31/06
"A judge in the US has said that violent video games represent free speech and their sale to minors must not be banned. "Depictions of violence are entitled to full constitutional protection," said Judge James Brady."

Star Quality in Video Games
by Christian Toto, The Washington Times, 8/25/06
"It isn't just out-of-work actors and former A-listers lending their voices to video games today."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Video Game News, Week of August 21

Gallery of Firsts From Second Life
Digital Media Wire 8/23/06
First virtual hotel, retailer, newspaper, more...

Study: Video Games Helps with Pain Tolerance
U14News 8/223/06
"According to a new test performed at the University of Maryland, video games are actually very beneficial to children who are sick or need to go through an intensive hospital procedure."

Tools Offered For Do-it-Yourself Video Games
Matt Slagle, AP 8/26/06
"Hoping to spur interest among video game enthusiasts, creative types and students, Microsoft Corp. said it plans to offer a consumer version of the professional software tools used to create video games for its Xbox 360 console."

Onlijne Video Games Found to Promote Sociability
by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 8/19/06
"The researchers, Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams, claim that MMOs function not like solitary dungeon cells, but more like virtual coffee shops or pubs where something called "social bridging" takes place."

Video Games for Grown-Ups: Grandparents Welcome!
KSBI 52/
"...more than 2 million over-50 consumers each month playing and purchasing these games, and more than 50 million copies of games downloaded by "seniors" in the past five years."

Harnessing the Power of Video Games
by Reena Jana, Business Week Online 8/17/06
"A growing number of video games are being designed with health-related applications. Now, commercial publishers are getting in on the action."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Video Game News, week of August 14, 2006

The Escapist issue 58: Ubisoft: Ubi, Uber, Uni

Gamasutra Podcast: Video Games Live Interview
Gamasutra 8/16/06
"Today's edition of the Gamasutra Podcast features an in-depth interview with Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall of the Video Games Live game concert event."

Video Games: A Force for Good?
WTOP News 8/16/06
"The latest positive pursuits in games are as diverse as burning calories, fighting cancer and tackling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Games Won't Create Monsters, Just Engaged Players

Denver Post 8/20/06
"Video games have grown from a nerdy pursuit largely enjoyed by children and adults who act like children to a mainstay of global entertainment."

Tech Talk: Video Games Promote Social Change
by Adam Balkin,News 14 Carolina 8/8/06
"Death Penalty for Fun.” "Darfur Is Dying." These are not the names of scathing, investigative reports on hotly debated global issues. They’re actually video games..."

Monday, August 14, 2006

E3 at its End?

07/30/06 by Colin Campbell, Next Generation
"E3, in its present form, is dead."

Design your own games

08/14/06 by Mike Snider, USA Today
"Microsoft wants to do for video games what YouTube has done for video: open it up for do-it-yourselfers.. ."

Playing with Pyramids

Looney Labs is a game company that makes some fun, fast-paced, light hearted games. One of my favorites is Fluxx, but at Gen-Con this year I finally sat down to play one of their Icehouse games. These games use plastic pyramids of three varying shapes. Treehouse was the first one I played where players take turns moving a stack of three pyramids (starts stacked small on medium, on a large) to match a designated pattern in the middle (large on its side facing out, small in the middle upright, and medium on its side facing out) Players take turns rolling a die that tells them how to move the pieces. This was a fun game in itself, but these pyramid pieces can be used for more than just Treehouse. Over the years the mind behind Looney Labs, Andy Looney, has opened the game to fans who have created their own games. Now there are hundreds of games you can play with these pieces, some of which have been highlighted in a book sold by Looney Labs.

This game is accessible to all ages. I would recommend libraries who are looking for something to interest patrons purchasing either one set of Treehouse or five. (with five you can play almost any icehouse game) This would make a great table top program, and allow patrons to also create their own games and submit them to looney labs.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Gen-Con Report

Gen-Con is a large convention about the size of ALA for table top gamers. Four years ago this convention came to my home town and I went for one day. The next year I started hosting board games, and this year I attended with a GM badge.

Like ALA there is an exhibit hall, and session. At this conference the sessions consist of games which you pay to play ($1.50 for 2 hours or less). The exhibit hall is open from 10am to 6pm so I scheduled my events for times when the hall wasn't open.

Some of the biggest companies had new games to show, and the independent developers had many fun and original board and card games. As I demoed games I found some I loved and some that would work well in a library. The following is a list of the new games with difficulty rating:

Xig 1 A puzzle game where you play pieces to form a connected line from a fixed start and end point.

Hex Hex 2 A player throws in a Hex(bomb) and players must use cards to move it away from them or it goes off

County Zzzzz 1.5 Use specialized cards to create good dreams.

You've been Sentenced 1.5 Using 10 word cards with five different word tenses create a sentence that makes sense.

Infinity 2 Think Rummy with special cards that skip turns, and add bonuses.

Deadman's Treasure 1.5 Collect the most gold from islands. Players bid for the island while a Pirate and a ghost rotate around islands to add bonuses

Mimic 2 In a Grid of 7 x 7 you play cards to create matching pairs to earn points.

Mix Up 1.5 Like Connect four but you use tiles that vary by three shapes and colors. One player has to connect four shapes while the other connects colors.

Slap Wacky 1 Players play simultaneously to complete shapes. When a shape is complete a player slaps it and takes it off the board to earn points.

You're Pulling my Leg 1.5 A game of truth or dare without dare. A player draws a card with a noun on it rolls a die in a cup. If the die says T then the player tells a true story related to the noun. If F a player tells a fib. The other players must then vote on whether they think the player is lying or telling the truth

Jabber Jot 2 Tell a story using three pictures and three words determined drawn from the "judge"

Ingenious 2.5 Place tiles on a board in line with the same shape and color. You earn points based on the number of shapes in the row you placed the tile, and the object is to out of all the players be advanced the most in the color you the player have the least in. (so if I had blue 5, yellow 4, green 6, and orange 7 My opponent's smallest number would need to be more than four.)

Fruits Basket 3 This game takes images from the Fruits Basket Anime and translates it into a Card Game. Each of Tokru's friends represent the zodiac and are placed in order in a circle. Tokru moves around trying to make friends. In your hand you draw memories and events that help you make friendship. This game is really nice because the cards that represent friendship are actually a deck of normal playing cards with images from the show.

I'll write up more information with links to order and companies later after I rest

To help you understand the previous ratings here is a list of classic games with difficulty rating:

Dominoes 1
Rummy 2
Monopoly 3
Munckin 3
Settlers of Cataan 3
Fluxx 1
Icehouse 1
Apples to Apples 1.5
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot 3.5
Carcassonne 2.5
Water Works 1
Scrabble 2.5
Empire Builder 4
Bohonza 2.5
San Juan 3

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Video Game News, Week of August 7, 2006

The Escapist Issue #57: In Too Deep

Viewpoint: Online Courses as Video Games
By Dr. Rodney P. Riegle, Campus Technology 8/12/06
"The competition for online students is bound to become more and more intense... Courses designed like video games are one way to win this competition by appealing to the target demographic in a way that they embrace."

Educational computer games could soon make a comeback
Developers Must Compete with Snazzy Video Games
AP 8/8/06
"...ambitious new products are in the pipeline, aiming to better reach a highly connected, multitasking, gadget-laden, mobile-oriented, Internet-reliant set of youngsters."

In Defense of Video Games
By Dave Thomas, The Grand Rapids Press 8/7/06
"We might not know what video games are doing to us. But they don't seem to make us violent. Crazy, multitasking, fantasy-addicted, Pavlovian button-mashers, maybe. Just not violent."

Tips on Choosing Video Games for Varied Ages

North American Precis Syndicate, Inc. 8/10/06
"The Entertainment Software Rating Board, which assigns video game content ratings, offers the following tips for parents to help them choose the games they consider appropriate for their families and be prepared for the realities of playing games online."

Friday, August 11, 2006

National Games Week

What better way to show your support for gaming than offering a program during National Games Week. Sponsored by Games Quarterly this event is for all games not simply electronic.

Save your calendars for November 19-25, 2006

I can't wait to hear about your exciting programs.

*For support and ideas feel free to participate in ALA Communities with the YALSA Interest Group or the Libgaming Google Group

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gaming The Way to Literacy

Reaching a new generation of library users? Gaming is used as a lure in this library in South Carolina. While it might bring, more teen gamers into the library, what message are we sending when we require them to have a library card and check out books to use the gaming equipment? Literacy is inherent in gaming. Is this really necessary? These are my comments and not necessarily representative of anyone else's.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Teens and Tech Give and Gain Respect

McCracken County Public Library built a gaming center for teens. How AWE-HAWE-SOME is THAT?!

And you can see pictures on their Flickr photostream. How very 2.0!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Video Game News Week of July 30, 2006

Advice to Parents: Know your video games
AP 8/5/06
"Craig Anderson, an Iowa State University psychologist, says parents need to do more than consider a game's age-based rating before putting it into the hands of children. They actually need to play the game, he says, or watch as it's demonstrated."

Are Violent Video Games Really a Problem?
by Candace Lombardi, CNET News 8/2/06
"Mature video games are not a problem for today's youth, but that doesn't stop them from being an attractive topic for politicians, according to panelists and audience members at Siggraph 2006 on Wednesday."

Video Games Gain in Reality. But Fantasy Counts
by Jake Halpern, NPR All Things Considered 8/3/06
"Recently, a new computer chip called the PhysX was unveiled. It's for video games, and it was designed to make them feel more realistic because it helps the objects you see on the screen follow the laws of real-world physics."

Video games used to help Buffs study the game
by Jeffrey Wolf, 9News/ABC 8/3/06
" The Colorado Buffaloes have been using a new tool to help them improve their play offensively on the field before fall camp starts next week -- video games."

PRESS RELEASE: Linden Lab Introduces Expressive Puppeteering to Second Life; Realtime, Spontaneous Movement Brings Real-Life Expression to Second Life Avatars

Yahoo! Biz 8/1/06

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gaming and DOPA

By now, most are familiar with DOPA, the act that is designed to limit the access of commerical sites that let users create web pages and profiles which includes discussion boards, chat, and e-mail service from these sites. Many of these sites are used to promote gaming not only by those that sell the products but by the fans themselves to share their passion and make new friends not to mention in game chat offered by XBox 360 as well as many other games. Offer these programs at your library to educate and inform the public on the safety and benefits of social networking. Contact your senators too. This is too important to ignore.

Soul Calibur II championship

Today is the Soul Calibur II Championship game for The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Eight libraries in the system (out of 24) participated during this summer long tournament. Parents of the qualifying teens and the teens themselves will breathlessly wait to see who is crowned champion. The prize? A gift certificate to local gaming store and a bling controller necklace. Pictures forthcoming. By the way, check out the teen made commercial on the web site as well as You Tube. We're pumped. Send in your stories of gaming tournaments done at your library this summer!

Get Your Game On

Who better to write this article in VOYA than expert gaming/librarian Beth Gallaway? Really, it's awesome, and absolutely wonderful that VOYA has a dedicated column on gaming to appear in the April, August, and December issues.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Video Game News, Week of July 28

The Escapist Issue #55: Against the Gods

PluggedIn: Gamers Bend Gender for a Winning Edge
by Lisa Baertlein, Reuters India 7/28/06
"In an poll taken last summer, nearly two-thirds of the 920 respondents said they play characters of the opposite sex in online role-playing games."

Video Games Help Give Brains A Workout: Part Three Of The 'Exercising Your Brain' Series
WISC-TV 7/26/06
"In part three of WISC-TV's "Exercising Your Brain" series, we take a look at how technology can help keep minds sharp."

eMediaWire 7/26/06
"Gamershare, the premier peer-to-peer (P2P) service whereby members can legally trade and swap video games in the most cost effective way with no limits or subscription fees, announced today the beta release of their website."

STUDY: VIDEO GAMES ARE RACIST: Negative images of minority groups are ‘blatant,’ says researcher.
EURWeb 7/26/06
"University of British Columbia researcher Robert Parungao, who graduated this spring with a B.A. in Sociology, completed an eight-month analysis for his thesis and found that negative portrayals of minority groups are "blatant” in most of the popular games."

Violent Video Games Numb Players to Real Violence
by Nate Anderson, Ars Technica 7/26/2006
"Whether we see this desensitization as a bad thing is a political question."

Reading, writing and video games: Students will build on gaming skills at new Dayton high school, say administrators.
by Scott Elliott, Daytona Daily News 7/24/06
"Capitalizing on youthful passion for video games, school leaders hope to keep more kids in school by offering the chance to conceive, design, build — and sell — their own video game."

Monday, July 24, 2006

For your next gaming event...

Why not serve gaming themed goodies? Like these, by Rakka

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New Issue of Games and Culture Online

A new issue of Games and Culture (1 July 2006; Vol. 1, No. 3) is available online at

The below Table of Contents is available online at:

The Mangle of Play
Constance Steinkuehler
Games and Culture 2006;1 199-213

Restricted Play: Synergy and the Limits of Interactivity in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Video Game
Robert Alan Brookey and Paul Booth
Games and Culture 2006;1 214-230

Hybrid Reality Games Reframed: Potential Uses in Educational Contexts
Adriana de Souza e Silva and Girlie C. Delacruz
Games and Culture 2006;1 231-251

Live Action Role-Playing Games: Control, Communication, Storytelling, and MMORPG Similarities
Anders Tychsen, Michael Hitchens, Thea Brolund, and Manolya Kavakli
Games and Culture 2006;1 252-275

Video Game News, Week of July 17, 2006

The Escapist Issue # 54: In Spaaace!

Video Games Are Showing a Social Side
By Matt Richtel, New York Times 7/22/06
Interview with Robert Kotick, the chairman and chief executive of Activision since 1991.

Comic-Con 2006: Video games lure Comic fans
by Humphrey Cheung, TG Daily 7/21/06
"Comic-Con may look like it's turning into a miniature version of the Electronic Entertainment Expo; however, hardly any hardware and game developers made announcements or showed new content for Comic-Con."

Video Games June Sales up 25 Percent: Report
Reuters 7/13/06
"Overall U.S. video game sales jumped 25 percent in June to $844.5 million..."

The World is Not Enough
The Sunday Times 7/16/06
"The virtual reality of the game Second Life looks like a marketer’s dream, but what does it offer the player? Is it a game, a trading floor, a 3-D retail outlet, a music-content provider — or all four?"

Video Games Racist, Says Study
Deborah Jones, Agençe France-Presse 7/21/06
"...while blatant racism is not tolerated in mainstream films or television, in video games "it's below the radar."

Why Walk? Virtual Walkathon Helps Raise Money For Cancer Research
by Stephen Totilo, MTV News 7/20/06
'"Can you have a walkathon where no one actually walks? Can you raise money for charity if you're using play money?"

Virtual Marketing: Firms create online worlds as new way to reach big audiences
by Jenn Abelson, Boston Globe July 21, 2006
When ``The Infinite Mind" opens it virtual doors next month, it will become the first regularly scheduled national media broadcast within the increasingly popular 3-D web space."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tournament at Daniel Webster College

On August 5th and 6th Holodek will be hosting Counterstrike 1.6 and Halo 2 Tourneys at
Daniel Webster College in Nashua with cash and prizes totaling over $6000!

For those wanting to practice or just check out the latest games, we will have X-Box 360's on projectors available to try out free of charge and many PC gaming stations available for pay to play at $5 per hour.

There will be a limited number of positions for the Tournament available so pre-register your team right away. You can also save 25% off the entrance fees by prepaying before August 2nd!

There is plenty of room for everyone to play on the 360's and PC's, to try out the High-Def projectors or just to come down and watch what is going on.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Video Game News, Week of July 10, 2006

How to Get the Life You Really Want
by David Smith, The Observer7/9/06
"Hundreds of thousands of people are seeking love, fortune and happiness through their 2D alter egos in Second Life, a new virtual world."

Fact: Video games are bigger than Hollywood!?
by Kim Kaze, Entertainment Wise 7/10/06
"Headline Book Publishing is delighted to announce the signing up of 'GAME ON!: From Pong To Oblivion: The Greatest Games of all Time', - to be published in the Autumn 2006 - written and compiled by Simon Byron and Ste Curran..."

The Escaspist, issue 53: 2020 Redux

Makers of Video Games Face New Challenge
AP 7/12/06
"Video game manufacturers asked a federal judge to block implementation of a Minnesota law that exposes minors to $25 fines if they obtain video games designed for adult players."

Doctors Using Video Games for ADHD
by Dr. Jay Adlersberg, WABC-7 7/13/06
"Dr. MacDonald treats ADHD with SMART BrainGames, a new system that combines brain wave monitoring, biofeedback and video games."

Does Your Life Suck?
by Camille Dodero, The Boston Phoenix, 7/13/06
"This is Second Life (SL), a three-dimensional virtual environment created by Linden Lab, a seven-year-old San Francisco–based company. In this pixelated alternate world — a mainland surrounded by islands that spans more than 42,000 acres in real-world scale, bigger than metropolitan Boston — account holders aren’t users, they’re “residents."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The YAM bar at McCracken County Library

Great summary of how a library advocated for -- and got -- YA space and services including Snacks, Sodas, and Playstation2s.

Video Game News, July 9 2006

Top 11 Weird Games
Inside the Game video presented by: Verizon
"Katamari is one of the strangest and best games EVER."

Animation: an Interdisciplinary Journal
Sign up for free access of Volume 1 Contents include:
Ub Iwerks’ (Multi)Plain Cinema J.P. Telotte
Image Future Lev Manovich
Platonic Sex: Perversion and Shôjo Anime (Part 1) Thomas Lamarre
Critique of the New Historical Landscape of South Korean Animation Joon-Yang Kim
Comics and the Critique of Chronophotography, or ‘He Never Knew When It Was Coming!’ Scott Bukatman
The Cathedral Is Alive: Animating Biomimetic Architecture Dennis Dollens

Viscious Videos
by Diane Swanbrow, University of Michigan News Service
"U-M Researches have been investigating the impact of media violence on children."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Video Game News, July 4, 2006

The Escapist Issue 52: Where There's a Whip now available. Read online at or check out the abstracts at

The Family That Games Together
by Brett Oppegaard, the Columbian 7/2/06
"The Dukarts are among the third of American parents who now play video games, with 80 percent of those players involving their children... Gamers, regardless of age, typically play an hour a day, while parents and children are doing this activity together for an average of nine hours per month."

Video Games Take on Humanitarian Twist
Bureau Report, Zee News 7/4/06
"Scores of game designers and poliical activists gathered at Parsons The New School for Design at New York City recently to showcase games that are trying to save the world, by addressing issues as diverse as cybercrime, poverty, the death penalty and even the slack office culture at Kinko's stores."

Addicted to Video Games: Escape from Reality Often Stems from Depression, Leads to More Pain
by Laura Schreier, Dallas Morning News 7/3/06
"...experts say what starts as a harmless pastime can become an escape from reality -- an emotional coping mechanism -- that turns into an addiction."

Video Games to Lead Entertainment and Media Industry Growth
Digit 7/3/06
"The worldwide video game market should grow to $46 billion by 2010 from $27 billion in 2005, equating to an average 11.4 per cent compound annual rate, predicts PricewaterhouseCoopers in its latest report on the global entertainment and media (E&M) industry"

Violent Video Games Make Room for Morality
by Dave Thomas, The Grand Rapids Press 7/3/06
"Two recent games from Eidos provide the perfect chance to consider the whole regime of killing and wonder about all that on-screen hurting."

Monday, July 03, 2006

Video Game News, July 3 2006

The Family That Games Together
by Brett Oppegaard, The Columbian July 2 2006
"Computers in three side-by-side cabinets and a 27-inch TV flash and flicker with different video games. . ."

Detox for Video Game Addiction?
by Sherry Rauh, CBS News July 3 2006
"The more we looked at it, the more we saw [gaming] was taking over the lives of kids."

Game On! Travels to Seattle
The Pacific Science Center is the most recent host of the Game On! interactive exhibit that explores the science, history and culture of video games through the end of August. Listen to the podcast of a local game developer.

Video Game Sale Ban Still Suspended-Baton Rougeby Mike Hasten, Shreveport Times July 1 2006
"The video game makers 'cloak themselves in free speech but under that cloak is murder, simulated murder,'. . ."

Wake Tech to offer Video Game Development DegreeAP, June 30 2006
"Wake Tech designed its curriculum with the help of the Triangle chapter of the International Game Developers Association. . ."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Public Perceptions of Libraries

"Library for books? Don't you mean my gaming library! LOL!!!" by Brazil la Zamba

"Hey, Brazil la Zamba. Library doesn't mean books, you idiot! " by Tom

Comments from Joystiq's article about Prey

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Video Game News, July 1 2006: Seriouser & Seriouser

Can Social-Change Video Games Tackle Divorce, Poverty, Genocide?
by Stephen Tolito, MTV News 06/29/06
"...200 game developers, social activists and representatives for international groups from charities to the United Nations discussed, debated and demonstrated games designed to do good: fighting homelessness, promoting world peace and helping children deal with their parents' divorce."

Video Games Get Serious by Video Games Get Serious

Gary Shapiro, New York Sun 6/29/06
"One way in which the genre is becoming more serious is with nonviolent strategy games..."

Game Design: Getting Activist Video Games to Market
by Reena Jana, Business Week 6/30/06
"A popular online video game, Darfur is Dying, defies the generic first-person-shooter formula, placing players in the role of escaping violence rather than perpetrating it."

Indian Video Games Battle AIDS
by Mary K. Brunskill, All Headline News 6/29/06
"...ZMQ Software Systems says it plans to globally release four games that began as part of a effort to raise funds to increase HIV/AIDS awareness."

Second Life Library featured in Serious Games Source

Enjoying Your First Life? Why Not Add a Second? Developing Library Services in Second Life
by Lori Bell, Tom Peters, and Kitty Pope, Serious Games Source 6/30/06
"...we have been waiting and looking for the right opportunity to get our libraries involved in gaming and virtual worlds – to make library collections and services available where the users already are."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Video Game News. June 28 2006

Final Papers from COMM 3344: Games for the Web (Interactive multimedia)

Game Designers Try to Help Save the World
Reuters 6/28/06
"Parents may worry that violent video games are bad for their children, but the technology can help save the world by raising awareness of the world's downtrodden, a group of socially conscious game designers say."

The Escapist Issue #51: It Came From The Escapist
is now available at Read abstracts at

Welcome to the Bran and Flaxseed World of Video Games
by Ben Grabow, Scripps Howard News Service 6/28/06
"Nintendo is looking to teach an old generation some new games."

'Ethical' Computer Games Take on Shoot-'em-up Classics
By Jack Fairweather, 6/29/06
"Help is at hand for parents worried about the violent computer games their children play. "Ethical" computer games are finding a toe-hold in a market dominated by shooting and fighting."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Video Game News, June 23 2006

Playing with Purpose: Video games are tackling serious issues like never before
by Redmond Carolipio, San Bernardino Sun 06/22/06
"Some may scoff at the notion, but while gaming news in recent weeks has been bombarded with talk of legislation or hearings on violence against the GTAs of the world, there's a genre of games that has its sights set on things like global hunger, cancer awareness and social activism."

Child Gets Paid to Play Video Games
by Adam Balkin, New York 1 6/21/2006
"Little Victor De Leon ... is so quick with a controller, he already plays Halo in big, professional gaming tournaments. And "Lil' Poison," as he's called within the gaming world, rarely gets beat."

Video Game News, June 22, 2006

The Escapist Issue #50: Girl Power 2 now available online at; read abstracts at

Playa Rater: The 10 Most Influential Video Gamers Of All Time
by Stephen Tolito, MTV News, 6/21/06
"Our expert rates the 10 gamers whose skills have influenced the culture, creation or business of video games."

The Bard Breaks Into Video Games in City Professor's Literacy Project
by Thana Dharmarajah, The Grand River Life 6/21/06
"A University of Guelph professor has used William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to create a futuristic storyline in a computer game to interest young minds and improve literacy skills."

Violent Games Law Shot Down in Louisiana
Out-Law News 6/21/06
"Louisiana could become the latest US state to stage a climb-down over video game laws. The state passed the law just last week but a court has already granted a temporary restraining order preventing its coming into force."

It’s Not All Fun and Video Games: 1st detox center open for addicts
by Fia Curley, Fort 6/20/06
"AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – An addiction center is opening Europe’s first detox clinic for video-game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can’t leave their joysticks alone."

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Game On

Next month will be a year for Game On. (according to the archives!). How have libraries moved in the gaming world since then? Any major trends or improvements?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Second Life in the News

PODCAST: Second Life Primer (19 minutes, 40 seconds long)
by CC Chapman, Managing the Gray 6/11/06
"You can go into Second Life and stand still... forever. not move and you can still have a good experience. All right, not a very rich and engaging experience, but you could... and thus, it's a not a game... well, yeah, there's sex going in on Second Life, but have you seen how much sex is going on on ithe web in general? C'mon, people..."

The Irresistible Rise of Cybersex
by Celeste Biever, New Scientist. 6/15/06
"Now some gamers are using these programming tools to give their avatars genitalia and erotic outfits, and to have them engage in animated cybersex."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Video Game News, June 17, 2006

Is it time for video games to take on current events?
Inside Bay Area 6/16/06
"GAMES usually only make the news when they're about something a certain segment of the nongame-playing public can feel righteously indignant about."

Video-Game Ratings Board Admits Not Playing the Games: Watchdogs say inappropriate content is slipping past reviewers.
Focus on the Family Citizen Link 6/15/06
"Bob Hoose, who reviews video games for Plugged In magazine, told Family News in Focus that while it would be helpful to families if the ESRB did a better job, the ultimate responsibility falls to parents."

Government Committee Holds Hearing on Video Games: Violent and explicit games are once again a topic of discussion in Washington.
by Li C. Kuo, GameSpy June 14, 2006
"Today, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection began a hearing titled "Violent and Explicit Video Games: Informing Parents and Protecting Children.""

Video Games As Simulatorsby Mike, TechDirt 6/15/06
With politicians again freaking out about the impact of video games on kids, there are two interesting stories today about how video games may be helping kids. The first is a middle school where an English teacher is using video games to keep kids interested, while teaching them about concepts like setting, plot and story line."

Louisiana Guv Signs Jack Thompson Video Game Bill Into Law - Industry Lawsuit Expected
Game Politics 6/16/06
"As of today, there is a violent video game law in effect in Louisiana."

Video Games Seen as Way to Train, Learn
by Christine Simmons, The Washington Times 6/15/06
"Video games may not belong in the home anymore: Students and employees in the future should be able to use them to learn and train. "

Midlands Students Studying Video Games
by Chantelle Janelle, WIS TV10 6/15/06
"The teens are learning about the technology used in designing games. They find out how math and science are used to make the games come to life."

Grant Funds Video Games for the Mind: OU’s K20 Center receives grant, places students at helm of game design
by Heather Caliendo, OU Daily 6/13/06
"“We have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education specifically to develop a computer game for Oklahoma students in the eighth and ninth grade to augment their curriculum,” said Martin Cole, computer engineering junior. “The rest of the game development is up to us.”"

Teen Drives Into Career With Video Games
AP 6/14/06
"For Brad Coleman, all those hours locked away in his bedroom helped turn his hopes into reality...two weeks after graduating from high school, Coleman debuted in NASCAR's Busch Series."

First Conference on Sex in Video Games Titillates Fans and Developers
by David Silverberg, Digital Journal 6/14/06
"...the two-day symposium explored issues surrounding digital erotic entertainment, including the psychology behind foreplay in online worlds and the future of sex in cellphone games."

Company wants to harness brain waves to play video games
by Dean Takahashi, Knight Ridder Newspapers 6/14/06
"At least two start-ups have developed technology that monitors a player's brain waves and uses the signals to control the action in games.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Using video games in Humanities

Morrowind used in middle school classroom. Teacher had students write a choose your own adventure story about the characters in it. Started with Setting, then finished with the story. She used Choose your own adventure, because it is much like Roleplay.

Anarchy Online used in a Technical writing classroom to teach the "fuzzy" stuff. Students roleplay within the game. Game is the situated context for learning.

Teens and Technology

As I sit in my sessions and my statement that teens are producers sinks in I realize that if we want kids to learn how to use databases, and online catalogs, they need to make guides on how to use it.

You truly learn how to use something when you have to make a guide for it. We as librarians would also be able to use the best guides to have in the library for student reference.

If we did it in the first week of school with the new class entering the school would we be able to really minimize plagiarism and allow teens to really enjoy the creation?

If anyone wants to take my idea and do something with it go ahead. I look forward to seeing what people make of it.